MONUSCO supports the fight against the trafficking of harmful substances in prisons

MONUSCO supports the fight against the trafficking of harmful substances in prisons. Photo MONUSCO/Correction Unit

7 Jul 2021

MONUSCO supports the fight against the trafficking of harmful substances in prisons

Lydie Betyna avec Correction Unit

To fight the consumption and trafficking of illicit substances in the central prison of Makala, in Kinshasa, the field team of MONUSCO Correction Administration Support Unit organized two awareness-raising sessions for five members of this prison staff, including one woman. 

Eighteen minor in-mates, including six girls, also attended this awareness session organized in collaboration with the association of the Congolese social workers as part of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking marked on June 26, 2021. . 

The trainees learned how to detect  harmful substances (cannabis or Indian hemp, tobacco, cigarettes, cocaine, opium, morphine, amphetamines, etc.) and were sentiized over the risks incurred during their trafficking and consumption in the prison, whether in terms of health, psychosocial, security, legal and administrative matters for the prison staff.  

The session aimed to break the supply chain of harmful substances in this prison, and thereby help improve the health of inmates and limit violence in the prison. 

MONUSCO team took care to remind all participants of the requirements of the Congolese legislation in this area, in particular the Law No. 18/035 of December 13, 2018 establishing the fundamental principles relating to public health which formally prohibits the sale, purchase, transport and consumption of these harmful substances, in Articles 111, 113 and 118. 

She also reminded prison staff that illicit trafficking of these substances is prohibited in the prison and that offenders run the risk of facing very heavy administrative penalties that could lead to their dismissal. 

They were also told that facilitating the consumption of these substances by prisoners contributes to weakening prison security in the sense that they alter the judgment and perceptions of consumers by making them sometimes more aggressive. 

Enthusiastic about the awareness-raising, the trainees pledged to encourage their peers to give up such practices, so that all drug and narcotics supply chains at Makala Central Prison are broken. 

It should be noted that the sessions were held in strict compliance with the barrier measures against Covid-19.